The BCCI senior men’s selection committee led by former pacer Ajit Agarkar will meet in the next few days to announce India’s squad for the remaining three Tests against England. Captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid are also likely to be present at the selection meeting. Rohit, in particular, had a long argument with Agarkar almost immediately after India beat England in the second Test in Visakhapatnam. The selection meeting will not be easy by any means. There are many questions to be answered, but none more important than Virat Kohli’s availability.
Kohli, who missed the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, will not be available for the third and fourth Tests and is also doubtful for the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala. reported ESPNCricinfo. The former captain reportedly informed Rohit and the selectors about his decision. But waiting for the series to move forward, the selectors can wait for Kohli’s decision on the final Test and announce the team only for the third and fourth Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi.
Another important player who is unlikely to play any role in the series is pacer Mohammed Shami. The veteran fast bowler is yet to fully recover from the ankle injury he suffered during the ODI World Cup.
However, there is good news for India elsewhere. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the second Test due to injuries, are likely to be included in the squad for the next two Tests. Rahul was out with a quadriceps injury, while Jadeja injured his hamstring while trying to run in the series opener. Both are currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. The NCA doctors have not submitted their final report to the BCCI but both Rahul and Jadeja are reportedly recovering well and with the third Test in Rajkot a week away, the selectors are optimistic about their return.
Siraj is preparing to return; Bumrah will not rest from the third Test
It is also confirmed that Pacer Mohammed Siraj, who was released from the team for the second Test, will return to the team to share the workload with Jasprit Bumrah. The Indian team management is reluctant to play four spinners and hence, Siraj will almost certainly immediately come into the XI in Rajkot in place of Mukesh Kumar, who struggled with his line and length in the Test. former.
Some media reports suggested that Bumrah might be rested for the third Test, but the newly crowned number one ranked Test bowler will feature in Rajkot. Bumrah has been the leader of India’s bowling attack and the team management does not want to give him a rest at this crucial stage. Furthermore, the nine-day gap between the second and third test is believed to be enough to manage Bumrah’s workload. However, if India wins the third Test, there is a good chance that Bumrah will be rested from the fourth in Ranchi as there is very little difference between them.
The five-match series is currently locked at 1-1. The third Test match is crucial as a victory in that match would keep the team in an advantageous position.